Kosovo’s freedom a good thing for all parties
By Ndue Ukaj
For about ten years ago, I began studying at the University of Prishtina. . It was forbidden for us, Albanian students, studying in our mother tongue and that is why we had not possible to study in universitetslokaler, as they were available only for Serbian students and had been occupied by the Serbian regime. Several generations were instead forced to study in improvised premises, which really was no cellar. It was awful. Verkligen hemskt. Really awful. Right now, I can not understand how we could cope with the situation.
But this is only one side of the story for the other side was very tragic. We could not even hold a lecture in the basement of our “freedom” to the Serb police frequently blocked our lectures. U For some years I did not even how to feel freedom, because I could find freedom only in poetry and literature. I and my friends who studied literature did not dare to tell the police (when they stopped us on the streets) that we were students and certainly not that we studied literature and Albanian languages. Because if we had been told that they had struck us. It was forbidden for us to read the West-literature, in fact, everything was forbidden for us Many young people experienced similar events several times. I told this experience to explain only a small part, for what the Serbian regime did for many years against the Albanian people in Kosova.
Ten years after the war Kosova is on track to complete the long process to become an independent country. And in that process is going on right now, there are a few countries in the European Union (Cyprus, Romania), along with Russia that would not accept Kosovo as an independent country. It is completely utopian to imagine today that Kosovo can live together with Serbia, a country that gave us the only violence. And still, they have not changed. Today there are about 2,000 people that the Serb army has killed and no one has taken any responsibility to find the bodies were buried somewhere in Serbia. They have massacred and transported to Serbia, including children and old people. It is appalling for their families who still do not know where these bodies are buried. During this war, the Serbian regime killed about 15,000 Albanians.
Our relationship with Serbia for nearly a hundred years, from the days when they opened the occupation of Kosova has always been with violence and war. Serbia has sought to block the school, culture, the Albanian language, all development and today there are approximately one million Albanians who have been forced in one way or another to emigrate.
I and my generation who have experienced the difficult situation when we studied, had tried to make a peaceful resistance without war and violence, that is non-violence. We demonstrated almost every day for several months for human rights and against the war. There are many theories as saying that during the ten years (1990-1999), during the systematic violence, Kosovo Albanians had their influence from Mother Teresa was an Albanian nun and known throughout the world for peace. It was unusual then in Yugoslavia to create a peaceful policy and led the Kosovar Albanians leader Ibrahim Rugova, who was the author. MeBut nothing could stop the Serbian passion for power and control over the Balkans. After June 13, 1999, when NATO entered Kosova I experienced what freedom, peace, democracy and perspective.
Right now struggling Kosova for a future without violence, a future integrated in Europe and NATO and cooperation with all countries in the Balkans, including Serbia. Kosova and the Albanian people are aware of the path they have chosen and regardless of the difficult process of Kosova is ready to fight.
Now it is finally time for stability and peace and to help in that respect, the Kosova and the Balkan region support from the EU and the United States. B Balkan region had much instability earlier so this is a way to come to a peaceful region. Now is the time for positive change and the change must be reflected in the Balkans may be its place integrated in the EU. Last week, ended the direct talks between Kosovo and Serbia ended without any result was reached. It has been noted by a troika from the U.S., EU and Russia, which has tried to get a compromise between the two parties. Following these developments, the EU and the United States prepared to recognise Kosovas independence. Kosovo is sui generis cases throughout the world, it is a special case. To understand the real situation in Ballkan, with a large focus on Kosovo, which today is a major issue in the international political relationship, you have to be quite a lot about this issue in its historical context. From this point of view, it will be easier to understand what is happening today in Kosova and Ballkan.
The historical dimension is the key to understanding what is known as Kosovafrågan, the process that is now coming to an end. So what happened in the past and is happening now in Kosovo has its basis in history, the history of Serbian Academy together with the political institution has been manipulated for nationalist interests which has resulted in four wars. The perception on the true story is the best way to eliminate missförståendet and the prejudices that may affect in the major negotiations today. The area is based on a mythology that has affected all developments, even the political, and the syndrome still live in Serbia.
In fact, there is no reason to hesitate in the EU on Kosovas future status. s However, the EU needs and Sweden decide as soon as possible of an agreement on Kosova: to accept autonomy and help the process so that it leads to all Balkan countries integrate into the EU. It is important to create peace in the Balkans and it is the best way to end a long period of violence and crisis.
It seems to be no chance for peace in the Balkans without Kosovo becomes an independent country. It is not only a desire but for the Albanian people, it means above all else, in fact, it means peace, democracy, perspective, it means to live. This fact know anyone who has enough information on Kosova, it is known in Serbia, the country that has created so much problems in the Balkans throughout the 90s and who still want to rule Kosovo. It is a utopian policy because Kosova since 1999 are living outside Serbia. Serbia should reduce nationalism and instead seek a reasonable policy for a future without crises. By Kosovas independence of Serbia also relieved, therefore, Sweden should be one of the first countries to recognize independence.
Albanian commentary advises Kosovo to avoid Islamic Conference
Commentary by Ndue Ukaj
“Kosovo Should Avoid Alignments of Religious Nature” p7]
Last May, when there was a debate about whether Kosova [Kosovo] should take part in the conference of Islamic states in Islamabad, I wrote: “The Islamic states will remain reluctant, irrespective of whether Veton Surroi and Lutfi Haziri decide to take part in the conference in Islamabad. Their participation would only tarnish Kosova’s image.” Kosova, fortunately enough, was not represented at that Islamic conference, thanks to the vigilance of President Fatmir Sejdiu. Now, one year on, there is no doubt that my observation was correct. But the debate continues. It should be noted that, a month after Kosova’s proclamation of independence, there is no indication that any of these states will recognize it. In the final analysis, such recognition would be of no essential value; it would be insignificant in terms of the minimal influence that these states have on international politics. I am convinced that any attempt “to infiltrate” these undemocratic states, most of which are dictatorships, would present a risk to Kosovo’s present and, in particular, its future. There are a number of reasons Kosova’s participation in this conference is unnecessary. There is not a single reason for Kosova to participate in the meeting in Dakar. Therefore, Kosova’s decision to take part in this meeting is immature and not based on any strategic analysis. [Passage omitted]
There are strong reasons Kosova should not take part in such conferences; indeed, it should stay away from them as much as possible, because Kosova’s aim to establish a democratic, tolerant society is not helped at all by getting closer to these wholly undemocratic countries. There are many reasons and arguments for this and the heads of Kosova’s institutions know them well. Those who are eager for Kosova to take part in this meeting know these reasons and arguments, too. They know that Kosova would stand to lose and that the only benefit would be for them to gain political capital or certain business advantages.
Kosova’s participation in this conference and its presence alongside countries most of which are dubious for the civilized world, countries with governments containing many fundamentalist elements, would send a bad signal to our Western friends, without whom the independence process would not have been completed. The process would not have taken place with the help of this organization or even hundreds of such organizations. There is no need to comment on this, because even the most naive and pathetic people know that the Kosova issue has gone and will go through Washington, Brussels, London, Paris, Berlin, and Rome, not through such wholly undemocratic states, in which there is no democracy, freedom, market economy, or wellbeing. Without the support of these centres Kosova would never have been able to gain independence; indeed, it would never have been liberated from the Serbian state. [Passage omitted]
Kosova can and should cultivate relations with every state, even Serbia. However, it should never enter into alliances that damage its image and create internal tensions. Kosova’s institutions should not fall into the “Albanian trap,” which is still causing difficulties for our mother country over its economic recovery, integration into the Western world, and, above all, ability to attract powerful economic investment from the Western world. [Passage omitted]
Kosova should cultivate and strengthen its partnership with its great Western friends, on whom our economy, present, and future depend. The Islamic states are not only geographically far away, but they are also, politically and culturally, in a world that is alien to democracy. Therefore, they can exert no influence on perceptions about Kosova. The long-suffering and degraded Kosovar society should be brought as close as possible to all the components of the Western world. Otherwise, it will continue to suffer and remain without prospects for a long time. Similarly, there is no need for young Kosovars to seek to emigrate to Islamic countries; they should do so in the direction of the EU and United States. And herein lies the responsibility of the current political class.
Source: 55Pesedhjetepese, Tirana, in Albanian 14 Mar 08
BBC Mon EU1 EuroPol bk
Ndue Ukaj: Thaci’s Visit, Triumph of Identity Over Distinctions
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) – June 24, 2008, Tuesday
Albanian, Kosovo leaders send “message of national identity”
Text of report by Albanian major right-wing pro-PD party newspaper 55Pesedhjetepese, on 21 June
[Commentary by Ndue Ukaj: “Thaci’s Visit, Triumph of Identity Over Distinctions”]
Kosova [Kosovo] Prime Minister Thaci’s visit to Albania, apart from its political message, also conveyed a message to the effect that, having to cope with a new political situation under the same national umbrella, Kosova and Albania are cooperating and coordinating their economic and political potentials for the common good, while at the same time stressing their national Albanian essence.
In other words, in Kosova’s new situation, Thaci’s visit strengthens interstate relations between Albania and Kosova while giving an appropriate answer to the allegations about a supposed Kosovar identity and, at the same time, stressing that Albanians, wherever they happen to be, are all part of the Albanian nation.
Among other things, Thaci’s visit stressed the national Albanian identity of the people of both Kosova and Albania, thereby refuting the allegations of those who, availing themselves of the creation of the state of Kosova, try to push through their theses about a so-called Kosovar nation.
The two prime ministers – Berisha and Thaci – declared a common national platform, for they know but too well that, disunited, the Albanians would be powerless. Theirs was a message of national identity over regional distinctions. They also came out with joint projects of national importance.
Relations between Albania and Kosova have frequently suffered from divisive efforts from certain quarters bent on impeding cooperation and coordination of actions between the two parts of the one nation. These efforts have come up against the policy carried out by both Tirana and Prishtina [Pristina], a policy that has the support of the whole of the Albanian nation.
Not infrequently we hear people in Kosova saying that the Kosovars must create their national identity, making a clear distinction between the Albanians on this and that side of the border.
Disregarding global developments and also the prospects of Balkan and European integration, these theses are fraught with dangerous consequences for the Albanian nation. They are based on naive conceptions that must be fought with determination and wisdom.
The Albanian press, especially that of Kosova, carries articles to the effect that nationalism is both obsolete and primitive. This is ridiculous, for the opposite is true. It is nationalism that makes Western countries so powerful. It is nationalism that motivates the Italians and French to struggle for major achievements in the field of culture, sports, and design, that makes Germany into an economic superpower, or that makes the British or the Americans police the world order.
The absence of a nationalist sentiment has often made us imitate our enemies, even identify ourselves with them.
The moment has come for us Albanians to hold our head high and show the world that we are a people of an ancient civilization, striving to overcome the consequences of a bitter past. Our future depends on what we do now.
Only united and by preserving our Western tradition will we be able to become dignified members of the community of civilized nations.
Irrational politics: Closing the gates of peace”1. Octavio Paz, a Mexican winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, in his essay “History as Dialogue,” which was actually his Nobel acceptance speech, writes that “democracy is a dialogue, and dialogue opens the gates of peace.” By having a true dialogue on certain problems, governments and peoples can reach the “dream of universal peace,” this author said.
by Ndue Ukaj
We mentioned the speech by this Nobel Prize winner in order to put into context the Serbian-Albanian relations, which, based on the nationalistic rhetoric during the Serbian prime minister’s visit to Kosova [Kosovo], are headed in a direction that is not desired due to the fact that the unwanted visitor used a private visit to once again stoke feelings of hatred among the Serbs. This was done through most the sophisticated pan-Serbian methods, which view Kosova as the Serb Jerusalem.
In fact, with this visit, the so-called Serbian democratic government in essence resembles the previous governments, not only because it is closing the gates of peace and dialogue, but, consciously or not, it is becoming a promoter of violence and instability by openly maintaining the position of protector of concepts of war, not those of peace. It seems that this was the intention of Kostunica’s visit to Kosova on a date that in itself bears terrible memories for the entire region, as well as for the Serbian people. This date became a shield for mad military philosophical politics during the last decade of the 20th century.
2. In view of the latest developments in the region and beyond, Kostunica’s visit could be understood as a well known irrational Serbian philosophy to again transmit to the world their deceptive tendencies by camouflaging and abusing reality, whether that reality is historical or current. This visit, besides having propaganda aspects for internal consumption, is additional proof that the Serbian state is not interested in promoting peace, bringing peace to life, developing healthy relations, or setting aside the painful past. Instead, it is interested in “producing” crisis in the name of crazy myths and in the name of phantom nationalisms, which could produce a dark future mostly for the Serbs themselves, since the Albanians are now determined to have dialogue, democracy, and integration.
3. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica’s visit to Kosova, which occurred precisely on a date that has left “ill-traces” for the entire history of the region, the consequences of which are yet to be repaired, will enter the political memory as a black stain among the many stains that have entered history – Serbian politics with eyes closed.
The appearance at the Gracanica Monastery, with a controlled nationalist discourse and by continuing the tune of manipulation, lies, and nationalistic trumpeting that was started by the dictator Slobodan Milosevic, occurred precisely at a time when Serbia is going through a difficult moment after the powerful signals from the US and Great Britain to accept the legitimate requests of the people of Kosova. It seems that this is a final tendency on a list of tendencies of Serbian politics to manipulate their own people. And now they are counting the last days of the demagogical rhetoric of deception and manipulation with the Serbs from Kosova and Serbia itself.
4. This visit, among other things, signifies the truth that still cramps Serbian politics. The opinions and tunes that feed patriotism and entangle religion and politics – as old and outdated propaganda that Serbia has used and is attempting to use against the Albanians, propaganda that went out of fashion a long time ago and that has reached banality in Western circles – this time was used poorly by a government that is challenged daily by international isolation.
This demagogy, which is supported by nationalist rhetoric, is interconnected with the Battle for Kosova. This battle, in relation to which evidence, historic writings, and arguments have been presented that all Christian forces participated in it, including Albanian ones, in an attempt to overthrow the Turk-Ottoman occupation, is once again attempting to become paradigm for gaining sympathy among the western World.
The constant tendency of Serbian intellectual, political, and religious circles to present this battle according to appetites and by adapting it for nationalistic-occupational interests suffered severe consequences in the past.
On the contrary, if Serbia is attempting to transmit its past to the Western world through this philosophy, as the defender of Christianity, it is a philosophy that does not ring bells in any country, since the truth is now known, which is that in essence the Albanians were the ones who protected Western culture and values, more than any other people in the region.
5. A rational mind cannot understand this tune of Serbian politics, despite what followed – isolation from the world. It seems the Serbian cul-de-sac has no end. The Albanians must take an example from a dishonest philosophy in order to proceed with dignity toward a bright future by developing democracy, peace, and prosperity in the scope of Western integration.
Instead of leading politics of messages and instructions for the Kosova Serbs, Kostunica should bring messages of peace, cohabitation, and getting closer to one another – even asking for an apology for the past. He should not transmit ill-intentioned messages of division and hatred. During an era general integrating processes, this is nonsense and an unprecedented philosophy.